Press Releases

Practical tools and strategies to make inclusion work

August 2, 2016

August 1, 2016
“Practical tools and strategies to make inclusion work”
Greater Philadelphia area educators invited to learn from national expert, August 24, North Wales

Teachers, administrators and therapists from school districts across the Greater Philadelphia region and surrounding counties are urged to attend an event at Pennbrook Middle School in North Wales on August 24th, to learn practical tools and strategies for making classrooms fully inclusive from nationally-renowned inclusion expert Julie Causton PhD.  Act 48 credits will be awarded.

Dr Julie Causton, a professor of inclusive special education at Syracuse University, is an expert in creating and maintaining inclusive schools.  Her training will focus on responsive ways to educate children with disabilities within general education classrooms.

The Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group (MCDSIG) and North Penn School District are hosting the event, to bring an expert to the doorstep of local teachers, rather than teachers having to seek out information themselves.

As Michele Hoenig of the MCDSIG explains: “Inclusion is the new way to educate our kids – all of whom have a right to access the general education curriculum.  Schools across our region vary greatly in the way they value and implement inclusion.  By bringing Julie Causton to the region, we are supporting our teachers to help our children reach their full potential”.

More than 250 K-12 teachers are expected to attend the event, which will help teachers modify and adapt materials for diverse learners, develop strategies for lesson planning and classroom set-up, develop strong Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams and manage challenging behaviors.

As Dr Jenna Mancini Rufo, Director of Special Education and Student Services at North Penn School District adds: “Inclusion is both a practice and philosophy.  We at North Penn believe that all children, regardless of disability, background or upbringing, are capable of achieving.  North Penn is excited that Dr Julie Causton will be joining us to help our staff refine inclusive practices.  In addition to the conference, Dr Causton will be addressing all employees at convocation on August 25th, and will be returning for an in-service in March.”

Advisers from local and state-wide information and support organizations will also be on-hand at the conference for parents and teachers.  They include the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), The PEAL Center, the ARC of Philadelphia and the ARC Alliance.
The event takes place on August 24th, 8.30am-4.30pm at Pennbrook Middle School Auditorium, 1201 North Wales Road, North Wales, PA 19454-2331.  Registration is $80 and includes lunch.  To register visit  For questions email [email protected]

For further media information contact:
Vivienne Teckoe
Communications adviser to the Montgomery County Down Syndrome Special Interest Group
Cell: 267 992 0464, Email: [email protected]

North Penn School District media contact:
Christine Liberaski
Phone: 215.853.1020  |  Fax: 215.368.3161  | Email: [email protected]

About Julie Causton, PhD: Julie Causton is a Professor in the Inclusive and Special Education Program in the Department of Teaching and Leadership at Syracuse University.  She has spent the past 20 years studying best practices for inclusive education and as a former elementary, middle and high school special education teacher herself, she knows firsthand how inclusion leads to better outcomes for students.  Julie is an educational consultant and works with administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and families across the country to help them promote and improve inclusive practices.  Her published works have appeared in over 30 journals and she has published several books including The Educator’s Guide to Inclusive Schooling. For further information visit
About the Montgomery County Down Syndrome Special Interest Group: Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group offers support, education, training and guidance to individuals with Down syndrome and their families and friends in Montgomery County, and aims to increase social understanding and acceptance of people with Down syndrome.  More information is available at
About North Penn School District: North Penn School District is a large, suburban school district with nearly 13,000 students. Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, it encompasses 43 square miles, and approximately 90,000 residents call NPSD home. The school district celebrates an increasingly diverse population in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic status and learning ability. An Inclusion Task Force is in place to meaningfully include students with diverse needs in their school communities to the maximum extent possible – members include over 90 educators, parents, and administrators.  In the 2016-17 school year North Penn is adding inclusion facilitators in schools to co-ordinate services and support meaningful inclusion in general education classrooms.  The events with Dr Julie Causton reinforce North Penn’s ongoing efforts to support students of all abilities.